Apps for Auditory Processing Disorder

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The diagnosis has been made and therapies recommended, but you’re going on vacation or want to supplement what is being done in a clinical setting. How about apps? They have the advantage of being portable and a format that may better hold attention for a child. While apps will never take the place of a skilled interventionist, they can be a nice supplement or even be used in the therapeutic setting to add a little something different to the typical session.

Apps for Auditory Discrimination

Auditory discrimination refers to the ability to hear the difference between sounds. Rehabilitation Game by Oticon Medical has adult and pediatric modes for detection, discrimination, and identification tasks. What’s That Sound? Learning to Listen and Identify Sounds by Different Roads to Learning, Inc. teaches sound recognition by having the user match pictures to the corresponding environmental sound. Soundmatch by EdNinja takes sound recognition to the next level by using picture matching or sound to sound matching. 

Apps for Sound Sequencing

Simon – just like the 1978 electronic game – can be used to teach sequencing. Keep in mind that using Simon adds a visual patterning component to the task. The Tweeting Birds Memory Game is similar, with birds singing different pitches in a pattern the user must repeat. This also has a visual component, but visuals can be removed in a therapy situation. For pitch pattern or frequency discrimination training, consider Lumpty Learning’s Blob Chorus

Temporal Sequencing

Drums Challenge allows the user to play a virtual drum kit and match the drum beats played with correct timing. Different styles of music, such as Jazz, Blues, Funk, Rock, and Latin, are included.

Figure-Ground Apps

Auditory figure-ground refers to being able to selectively listen to one sound while blocking out background noises. For example, being able to hear and understand the person talking to you from across the table while in a noisy cafeteria. Auditory Figure-Ground AFG by Foundations Developmental House, LLC allows the user to adjust the difficulty of the task by varying the signal to noise ratio and choosing the type of noise used (children´s indoor playground, elementary school children talking in lobby, small cafe ambience, noisy crowd walking and talking, and white noise). White Noise by TM Soft is a basic sound generator app with many different environmental sound options. This app is best utilized with clinician-directed activities. The right and left ear channels can be set independently to work with dichotic training activities and sound localization. 

Auditory Closure

There are many redundancies in speech; auditory closure is the ability to use those redundancies to fill in any missing information to be able to understand the message. Voices 2 is an app that can be used to improve auditory closure and discrimination skills. Speech can be recorded and modified to change pitch, speed, background noise, and reverberation effects.

Metacognitive Skills

Metacognition refers to higher-order thinking and is linked to self-regulation and executive function control. ImageQuest by GeeThree uses "pictoynms" (images that look different but share a common word) and requires users to visually scan, analyze, and extract the common word. 

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Article Sources

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  • Geffner D, and Ross-Swain D (2012). Auditory Processing Disorders: Assessment, Management, and Treatment. San Diego, CA: Plural Publishing. 
  • Schuler, B(2015). CAPD Therapy From the Palm of Your Hand. Audiology Online.